Laura Winterton received a BA (Hons) degree in mass communications and women’s studies from the University of Ottawa in 2006. After several years of working at The Walrus in Toronto, Canada, Laura traveled, volunteered and worked in Kenya and Tanzania. Laura currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa where she completed an Honours degree in Social Anthropology in 2010, and is currently finishing her Masters at the University of Cape Town. Her scholarly interests are focused on communicable disease, public health ethics, displacement and migration, story telling, memory and language. Her current projects focus on sites of care for people with Drug Resistant strains of Tuberculosis (DR-TB), narrating Tuberculosis through interdisciplinary research, and treatment interruption amongst DR-TB patients in urban settlements in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Ethics of Responsibility in Treatment Strategies for Tuberculosis
Drug Resistant Tuberculosis has become a leading concern throughout public health and human rights circles around the world. Local and international debates on the best practices for DR-TB treatment have been polarized as two distinct models of care; centralization versus de-centralization. Patient experiences are less understood in the context of developing strategies for infection control and treatment regimens, which contributes to a failure to address the capabilities and capacities of patients, family members and communities affected by DR-TB. Through a historical overview of the sanatorium, paired with a contemporary analysis of DR-TB care this paper will argue that public health policy needs to abandon championing one system of care over the other, but rather include a more pragmatic strategy that integrates capabilities and capacities of the patients. This paper is situated in Cape Town, South Africa, but the debates and challenges extend beyond.